A common over-the-counter pain medication is being connected to rising learning disorders. New findings from the Boston Birth Cohort study of 996 mother-infant dyads, as reported in JAMA Psychiatry, show cord plasma biomarkers of fetal exposure to acetaminophen were associated with significantly increased risk of childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder.
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is one of the very few painkillers that has been considered safe to use during pregnancy. However, after identifying a link between prenatal exposure to the drug and symptoms of autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, studies suggest acetaminophen may not be so safe after all.
According to Medical News Today acetaminophen — also known as paracetamol — is a widely available over-the-counter (OTC) painkiller, used by 65–70 percent of pregnant women in the United States. While most of us hear acetaminophen and think Tylenol, the fact is that acetaminophen is found in many OTC medicines including Actifed, Alka-Seltzer Plus, Cepacol, Contac, Midol, NyQuil, Robitussin, Sudafed, and Vicks, as well as many store brands.
In November 2017, Medical News Today, in an article titled Acetaminophen During Pregnancy is Associated with ADHD, stated that:
Data were taken from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study, including 114,744 children who were born between 1999 and 2009, as well as 95,242 mothers and 75,217 fathers. Of the mothers, almost half (52,707) used acetaminophen during pregnancy.
The research team discovered that acetaminophen use for 7 days or fewer during pregnancy was negatively associated with ADHD. However, for longer than 7 days, the risk of ADHD increased with longer periods of use.
The children of mothers who had used acetaminophen for 29 days had more than double the risk of developing ADHD. Also, children of mothers who took acetaminophen for fevers and infections for 22–28 days were more than six times more likely to have an ADHD diagnosis.
Even after adjusting for multiple factors — including ADHD symptoms in the parents — the raised ADHD risk was still significant.
When looking at the data from the fathers, they found that those who had taken acetaminophen for 29 or more days before conception fathered twice as many children with ADHD.
Additionally, the authors of the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study went on to say that “The association between paternal pre-conceptional acetaminophen use and ADHD was similar to the association between maternal use of acetaminophen during pregnancy and ADHD.
As reported by the SF Gate, “In 2018, researchers from the Hebrew University Faculty of Medicine studied over 100,000 women over the course of 11 years. Their research found that Tylenol may increase the relative risk for ADHD and Autism.
According to research, 28 days of consecutive use could increase relative risk for ADHD by 30% and Autism by 20%.”
It’s not just learning disorders that are linked to acetaminophen, and pregnant women that need to take notice. As far back as 2005, acetaminophen was found to decrease intracellular glutathione levels and contribute to a number of inflammatory pulmonary diseases, including asthma. Asthma is clearly a problem. But what is glutathione? Glutathione has been described as the mother of all antioxidants, the master detoxifier and maestro of the immune system. Dr. Mark Hyman says about glutathione,”IT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT MOLECULE you need to stay healthy and prevent disease — yet you’ve probably never heard of it. It’s the secret to prevent aging, cancer, heart disease, dementia and more, and necessary to treat everything from autism to Alzheimer’s disease.” People of all ages would be healthier with higher levels of glutathione.
Considering the many factors we are concerned about today, GMOs and pesticides in our food, toxins in household products, genetic susceptibility, antibiotic use, co-infections, and toxins in vaccines (such as aluminum and Polysorbate 80), clearly we do not need to knowingly add another contributing factor to ADHD and Autism such as acetaminophen. We do not suggest you wait until the governmental agencies and drug manufacturers try to figure it all out and put a warning on the bottle. It’s time to toss the Tylenol and acetaminophen products. If you know a woman who is pregnant or of child-bearing age please share this information.
According to Dr. Mercola:
Acetaminophen poisoning is now the most common cause of acute liver failure in the United States. Attempted suicides account for many cases, but almost half are the result of unintentional overdose.
In one study* on the rise of acute liver failure due to acetaminophen, "Some patients had been taking less than 4 grams of acetaminophen daily before their livers failed." This is less than a teaspoon a day of liquid Tylenol...far less than most parents give after vaccines or during teething phases! Taking more than the recommended dose OR taking it daily and consistently, can have permanent health effects.
*Hepatology December 2005; 42(6): 1364-1372 EurekAlert November 29, 2005